Once upon a time, in a town called Molsheim in France, lived a father who wanted to give his youngest son a bespoke and iconic birthday gift — a Bugatti, of course. But this was no ordinary Bugatti… this was a Bugatti perfectly fit for a four-year-old. He enlisted the help of his eldest son, and together they built the Bugatti Baby.
Scaled back by 50%, the Type 35 was intended to be a once-off design, but the positive feedback and interest from Bugatti customers drove the Bugatti Baby into production between 1927 and 1936. Fast-forward a few decades and the Type 35 baby is as desired today as it was then — and no Bugatti collection is complete without one. At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and to celebrate the brand’s 110th birthday, Bugatti announced plans to reimagine its baby for modern day: the Bugatti Baby II.
Partnering with the UK’s The Little Car Company to recreate this iconic collector’s item, the reincarnated Baby II has grown in leaps and bounds since 1926. Designed for ages 14 and up, this version, scaled back by 75%, is definitely more of a young adult — it’s larger, more powerful, and all-electric.
“With the Bugatti Baby II, we invite a young generation of enthusiasts to fall in love with the wonderful world of Bugatti,” says Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE TOY CAR
As it enters production, the Bugatti Baby II is available in three versions: the Base model, Vitesse model and Pur Sang model. All versions are rear-wheel drive and have a limited slip differential, high performance hydraulic brakes, and selectable driving modes. The Base model is, as the name suggests, the most basic of the range and comes with two driving modes: Novice, which reaches a maximum speed of 20km/h, and 1kW of power; and Expert, which reaches a maximum speed of 45km/h and 4kW of power. The Vitesse and Pur Sang models feature both Novice and Expert modes, but include the legendary Bugatti Speed Key — typical of the Bugatti Chiron — which allows the car to deploy up to 10kW of power and reach an impressive 70km/h. On a single charge, the Base model is capable of achieving a 25km range, while the Vitesse and Pur Sang models have a 50km range.
“In its most powerful mode, when you have the ‘Speed Key’ inserted, the Baby II is a very fast car. It’s quite impressive and brilliantly fun. You get a lovely feel of balance; it handles just like the original Type 35 and the regenerative braking is a very cool touch. It’s truly an authentic Bugatti, there are no questions about that,” explains Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace.
In keeping with tradition, there will only be 500 units produced of the Baby II. But there is some good news: if you missed your chance to secure one last year, some sales have since fallen through, so this could be the second chance you need.
Reflecting on the project, The Little Car Company CEO Ben Hedley says: “To develop the Baby II we had to walk a fine line. We wanted to pay tribute to the original Bugatti Baby and Type 35, but also wanted to integrate modern technology and make it fun to drive. We are delighted to deliver the hand-built Baby II to customers and allow multiple generations to share the joy of driving. We have developed a vehicle which you can enjoy at much lower speeds with your children and grandchildren”.
There’s no doubt that papa Ettore Bugatti would be proud. The end.
• The Base model starts at €30,000, the Vitesse at €4,500 and the Pur Sang at €58,500. Visit Bugatti’s website for more information.